Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Blogger Bashes GHW Bush For Advanced Age

I read a piece over the weekend on a site I frequently find interesting articles. I almost passed this one by, feeling a sick jab to the gut by the title alone. I read it. It didn't make me sick after all, it made me really angry.

Remember when Newsweek ran with the cover on its weekly rag of George H.W. Bush as a "wimp"? Instead of a wimp, this author feels ok with characterizing the former president as a cry baby. It's been twenty-three years so the slur has changed a bit.

This is the description of the writer at the bottom of the piece: a professional yoga teacher and a perennial student of Vedanta philosophy who lived for 25 years in the Far East. She is the editor in chief of Ramparts360.com and was named AFP-Texas Blogger of the Year for 2010.

My conclusion is that the writer was displeased with the answers given by former President GHW Bush and his wife Barbara during a televised interview because Bush admitted he is a bit confused about the goals of the Tea Party movement and not certain as to what the future hold for them within the political process. And, Barbara Bush dared to say she thought Sarah Palin should probably continue to live in Alaska. How dare they! If she were honest she would have taken it all in total, as they both complimented the Tea Party participants and Ms. Palin. There was no sneering or nasty intent on their parts. How the interview is construed as clinging to power is lost on me.

The really interesting twist, though, was the attack on them because they are old. Both well into their 80's, this is no news flash to them or to us. It always strikes me as so difficult to accept a person claiming to have a focus of religious belief guiding him or her in life and politics, yet sink to gutter level character assassinations with ease. Isn't that what we conservatives complain about on the left? That is, if facts are not on your side, you sink to the politics of personal destruction?

The writer lived outside the U.S. for twenty-five years, in the Far East and returned in 2007, according to the information on the website. Funny. Asian culture has a heavy dose of respect for elders in it.

In the U.S., this tendency of clinging to power until the moment of death prevails as well. I recall Obama's luncheon on Inauguration Day when Robert Byrd and Ted Kennedy, seated at the same table, both began retching on camera, unable to eat properly. And each man met his demise later that year due to health problems.

The point is that power is so intoxicating that those who have a shred prefer to keep it, even as they rot away and fall into their second childhood in full public view, wearing their Depends, drooling into their handkerchiefs, and blathering half-witted nonsense which is then quoted in the state-run media and passed off as noteworthy.

So, the Bushes are clinging to power by answering questions on a television show. Is that the takeaway? I would like to say on behalf of both Bush presidents, they have been remarkably restrained and out of the spotlight as the years pass. Too bad for us that Carter and Clinton don't take the same path.

This author also pushes the canard of Republican "elite" and that has been well dissolved, especially as the Republican party embraces and pushes forward those elected with strong Tea Party support. It is hardly "elite" to understand political science and encourage an electable conservative to run for office. We saw that in the cases of Angle in Nevada and O'Donnell in Delaware. A more moderate leaning Republican would surely have been preferable to the Democrats that won those races. While touting Ronald Reagan as a man of the people over GHW Bush as the elite, maybe she should re-read some of Reagan's philosophy as it pertains to the Republican party. His most famous quotes have to do with the eleventh commandment - do not speak ill of fellow Republicans, and that anyone who agrees with him 80% of the time could be a partner in politics.

George HW Bush and Barbara Bush are to be thanked for their service for our country, both domestic and abroad. Bush the elder, as the former president is called by her, began his service to country as an enlisted man in our nation's military and a war hero at age 19. Enlisted, that blue blood. Differences of opinion within conservative circles are healthy, not to be shut down.

Ronald Reagan was our nation's oldest President. He performed admirably in office, as far as us conservatives were concerned, thank you very much. I say we celebrate each other and get over the nonsense.

Waivers A-Plenty On Health Care Legislation

It is reported that some 111 waivers have been issued for large corporations as new health care law comes into effect. Eighteen unions have received waivers to not be under the thumb of the new health care legislation requirements from the government. The SEIU stated the union will drop coverage of the children of some 30,000 low paid home health care workers in New York. About 6,000 children, ages 23 to birth, are currently covered. The union complains that the new age requirement of coverage up to age 26 stretches already over-stretched funds.

Imagine that.

One of the largest union-administered health-insurance funds in New York is dropping coverage for the children of more than 30,000 low-wage home attendants, union officials said. The union blamed financial problems it said were caused by the state’s health department and new national health-insurance requirements.

The fund is administered by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union. Union officials said the state compelled the fund to start buying coverage from a third party, which increased premiums by 60%. State health officials denied forcing the union fund to make the switch, saying the fund had been struggling financially even before the switch to third-party coverage.

This decision was made months ago. The members were told last month, before the elections were held on November 2, yet we only just now read the story. How convenient.

Unions have been at the table and assisting to write the health care legislation all along. The upper management and bosses are set for life. Obama owes unions for his most generous support on his way to the presidency. Former union chiefs are top advisers to Obama. One hand washes the other. Now the lower level union members will pay for it. Just as always. The union dues paid will continue to support posh lifestyles of the upper eschelan and the regular workers will see their money spent on political campaigns.

The first waivers were made quickly before too much publicity could be made about them. With the mid-term elections on the horizon, the White House was acutely aware of the public's strong disapproval for the legislation in the first place.

At a time when the midterm elections are looming and Republicans have been vocal in campaigning against the law, reaction to the roll out has been closely watched.

To date, the administration has given about 30 insurers, employers and union plans, responsible for covering about one million people, one-year waivers on the new rules that phase out annual limits on coverage for limited-benefit plans, also known as “mini-meds.” Applicants said their premiums would increase significantly, in some cases doubling or more.

It was all about politics and future Democratic votes and the Obama legacy, this health care boondoggle. Never mind that it is the most vulnerable that will continue to feel the effects. While claiming the poor and working poor and children would now be covered, no problem, was a lie all along. Now it is becoming news.

The first of the new requirements of the health care reforms were to kick in just before the mid-term elections because Obama thought Americans would have come around to approving the legislation by then. Well, November 2 came and the Democrats lost big, mostly because of votes in favor of the health care legislation. The president, in his words, received a "shellacking".

Rightfully so.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Obama Dumps Oil Spill Documents on Thanksgiving Eve

Thanks to the AP and the Freedom of Information Act,the American public has a bit more background on the goings on behind the scenes as the Obama administration released its estimates of the damage done in the Gulf of Mexico by the oil spill.

The documents released last Wednesday by the Commerce Department, NOAA’s parent agency, were significant because they revealed conversations among scientists working on the forecasts of oil in the Gulf. The government released 5,817 pages of files late in the afternoon on the eve of Thanksgiving, traditionally a period when few people are paying attention to news reports because of holiday travel. The first clue or red flag alerting us to trouble is the timing of the document release. Whenever a document dump is carried out at a specific time when an administration knows people are not paying close attention, that they are distracted with a holiday for example, we know it is less than favorable to that administration.

The same is proven true in this case, too. The e-mails released show that reports were being released before the scientists were finished with gathering data for the conclusions brought forward. These conclusions were the talking points and subjects of press conferences produced in order to make the American public feel better, to feel that the government was on top of the situation and doing all it could to remedy the situation.

The only reason these documents were made public is due to a Freedom of Information request by Rep Ed Markey (D-MA) and news organizations. Markey is anti-drilling and determined to weaken the industry through the political process. The Obama administration gives lip service to using 'true' science. The director of NOAA made a big show of claiming, under the direction of President Obama, that the agency uses 'real' science. It seems that to those determined to play politics with policy decisions, the field of science is open to interpretation.

This administration was caught red handed fudging on official studies and documents -specifically the report issued by the group of scientists on the issue of the moratorium - and using the signatures of respected scientists as cover. The scientists spoke out and denied the claims made by Secretary Salazar and his agency that a moratorium was necessary, that it was the best way forward after the oil spill. Now the administration releases documents as no one watches.

It's their story and they are sticking to it.

Kyl Questions START Treaty Language

In the START treaty, there in the preamble, is the potential for an opt-out by Russia, should the U.S. develop the four stage missile defense program that our Pentagon wants to develop. Senator Jon Kyle is the point man on the treaty ratification for Republicans as the vote approaches. He has some concerns about the language that have not been addressed or discussed.

Democrats want to make Sen Jon Kyl of Arizona the whipping boy for voicing concern about the legitimate restraints in the treaty necessary towards Russia. He wisely wants some time and debate on this before the vote on ratification. Kyl has been working with the administration for quite some time and understands the issue well. The treaty has been on the table since last Spring. All of a sudden there is fake urgency on the signing. Kyl rightly states that Sen Reid, as Majority Leader, can bring up the vote on the ratification at any time. Reid has chosen to put social issue votes and special interests ahead of the treaty.

Kyl wants the chance for the GOP to offer amendments on the treaty vote. We have the sad truth in place that this administration slaps together documents and insists on votes whether members of Congress have had time for due diligence in reading and understanding the documents or not. It is all about political points for the Democrats, for the next election. This administration has no history of working with the GOP in good faith on any issue. It appears as though all that matters is forcing votes on their agenda regardless of the consequences.

So, the Democrats and the administration are making a concerted effort to work around Kyl, who is the senior Republican with expertise in these matters. The push is on to find some Republicans willing to announce support and intention to vote for the ratification. Much fanfare is being given by Democrats of the Republicans now longer in office who support the treaty.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who has reserved judgment on how she will vote until the resolution comes to the floor, said it could make a difference if Obama could get George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, both former presidents, to appear with him in support of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or New START.

Neither Bush has taken a public position on the pact, which would continue trends they established with the original START agreement signed in 1991 by the elder Bush and the Moscow Treaty approved by the younger Bush in 2002.

The New START treaty continues most verification procedures established in the 1991 agreement that ended last December while adding new ones; it also lowers slightly to 1,550 the deployed warheads allowed under the 2002 pact, which were 1,700 to 2,200.

It is the adjustments that are of concern to Republicans. While it is good for the U.S. to trust but verify as it deals with Russia and nuclear weapons, it is also good for both Democrats and Republicans to be on the same page as the ratification is worked out. Anyone with questions deserves answers to them before a vote is taken.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

GOP Weekly Adddress 11/25/10

GOP Weekly Address is delivered by newly-elected Rep Austin Scott of Georgia. He has been elected President of the freshmen class, a "new breed of leaders for a new majority and a new Congress."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Palin Comes to Own Defense on Facebook

Sarah Palin sent out a message to her fans on Facebook. The title - "A Thanksgiving Message to All 57 States". Clever. The reason for the message was to stand up to the ribbing she has received for her slip of the tongue during a recent interview. She referred to North Korea instead of South Korea as our ally and the media snarks were off and running with vigor. Problem is, she immediately corrected her gaffe and that was the end of it. Or so she thought.

The message on Facebook refers to the long list of gaffes uttered during speeches and town hall meetings by President Obama. She backs them up with links to youtube videos. She mentions she didn't have the time to include the abundance of gaffes uttered by Joe Biden. Amusing. A part of me cheers her resolve to be her own biggest defender. Another part of me cringes. My instinct is to say, "Sarah. Please. Stop." The media is determined to stick with the usual path - conservatives are stupid and liberals are superior intellectuals. Palin is a prime target as she is always present.

The irony is that Palin supporters and Obama supporters are very much alike. Both politicians have people in their corner who will accept no criticism of their favorite. Both camps have those who are not open to anything negative or even perceived as negative to be written or said about their favorite. And, they both suffer from over-exposure. Not to mention thin-skinned.

Political strategist Mark McKinnon writes: Palin’s appeal completely befuddles metro-intellectuals. They scoff at her “experience,” holding the one-time city manager, mayor, oil and gas commission chair, governor, and vice presidential nominee to a different standard than candidate Obama. A marathon runner, mother of five, and grandmother to one, she has no qualms about smacking a slimy halibut—or an oil and gas company—upside the head. And don’t be fooled, underneath that “prom hair” is a brilliant populist. McKinnon coached Palin as she prepared for her debate with Joe Biden. He has a personal admiration for the woman as a person yet doesn't want her to run for President.

Obama fanboys write about Palin's self defense, too. POLITICO was among the news organizations that reported on Palin's gaffe.

Palin's Facebook statement served as both a warning shot to the media and to the White House. She has made it clear in the Past several weeks that she is considering running for president, telling ABC that she could defeat Obama.

The gist of Palin's memo was that the media should apply even standards to candidates and their slip-ups.

Novel idea, huh? Treat politicians in both parties with the same amount of scrutiny. In most of the media, that would be a different approach to reporting.

Palin has to face the fact that people are mean. Politics is a brutal business. She receives criticism over her jewelry - "how much flag jewelry can she buy?" was a comment I saw on a left wing blog - and her good looks, her independence, her career record, her experience level, her speaking fees and travel expenses, etc. Unfortunately, it goes with the territory and when you are competing at the top of the heap, it only gets more intense. The left despise her and a lot of it has to do with the fact that Palin and her family are happy and secure human beings. Conservative human beings. The left loves to be miserable.

If I were advising Palin, and I am only as an observant and concerned Republican activist, I would ask that she not run for the Presidency in 2012. I would advise her to continue on with the life she has now. In the long term, it is as good as it will get. She is making boatloads of money, she freely travels, she has a reality television show for outreach to millions each week, she writes, she has a gig with FOX News Channel as a contributor. It's all the freedom with little of the constraints of the highest office.

And, as others have concluded, I don't think she would beat Obama in 2012. I appreciate her self-confidence and positive self esteem as she tells interviewers that she thinks she could beat him. Both of them are strong competitors as sports players are. It would be a tough match-up but in the end she would lose. Her numbers are just as grave as his in many polls. She is just as polarizing as he is.

Palin can serve her country - her party - best as a fundraiser and cheerleader. She's a crowd pleaser who brings out huge audiences to listen to her message, a traditionally Republican message. She straddles the fence as a darling of the Tea Party movement, too. She's savvy and knows how to capitalize on her time in the spotlight. More power to her. She encourages conservative women to get out there in the process and get out the vote. She encourages women to run for office. For that alone, I thank her from the bottom of my heart.

Obama Pushes START Treaty Ratification in Lame Duck Session

Happy Lame Duck session season. Are you feeling all warm and fuzzy about the elected officials in Washington doing the peoples' business? No? Well, you are not alone. In case you missed it, President Obama told the American people in his weekly address to the nation that his top priority is making sure the START treaty is ratified in the Senate. Got that?

We are seven weeks over a standard fiscal deadline that our government must meet to appropriate funds for a federal budget. A continuing resolution secures the process of our government continuing to run as needed. This congress - run solely by Democrats who pledged all kinds of gobbledy gook about balanced budgets and PAYGO and transparency - has failed to get a budget passed for the first time in decades. There's some change for you! Not to mention that the tax code that has been in effect for the past ten years contains tax breaks set to expire in January, before the next Congress is sworn in. Yet, no urgency there. The Democrats stubbornly went home rather than deal with the issue. All taxes will go up and the sticking point is what Obama refers to as "millionaires and billionaires" - those making over $250,000 per year. Is that the cut-off you think of when you image a millionaire or billionaire? A temporary deal of extending the tax breaks for two years can't even be agreed upon.

Isn't is amusing that the very Democrats who ballooned our federal deficit by tripling it over the last eighteen months with bail-outs and spending now say we can't afford tax breaks as a nation? Yeah amusing if it weren't so sad.

Congress is killing time in the Lame Duck session re-naming post offices and honoring golfers and college football coaches. No time for tax rate votes.

In case you have been a bit distracted lately - and who hasn't - the Cold War is over. We have a previous Republican president to thank for wrapping that up. Mr. Gorbachev tore down his wall. During 1989 and 1990, the Berlin Wall came down, borders opened, and free elections ousted Communist regimes everywhere in eastern Europe. In late 1991 the Soviet Union itself dissolved into its component republics. With stunning speed, the Iron Curtain was lifted and the Cold War came to an end.

Obama's argument for a renewed urgency to pass the treaty - oh wait. That assumes there was an urgency when it was negotiated earlier this year. No such urgency has reared its head until now. Interesting, no? Now all of a sudden it is crucial that the Senate ratifies the treaty in a Lame Duck session. Obama frames it along the lines of our ability to verify Russian nuclear weapon activity.

That is precisely what the New START Treaty does. After nearly a full year of negotiations, we completed an agreement earlier this year that cuts by a third the number of long-range nuclear weapons and delivery vehicles that the United States and Russia can deploy, while ensuring that America retains a strong nuclear deterrent, and can put inspectors back on the ground in Russia.

The Treaty also helped us reset our relations with Russia, which led to concrete benefits. For instance, Russia has been indispensable to our efforts to enforce strong sanctions on Iran, to secure loose nuclear material from terrorists, and to equip our troops in Afghanistan

Reset our relations with Russia? That is a slap at the Bush administration. How amateurish of him. But after the stupid and embarrassing "reset" button presented as her first big meeting as our Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton quickly learned that the Russians just laugh at us anyway. With Putin still controlling Russia and the continued business between them and Iran and other enemies, what is to be accomplished that has to be done so quickly?

This START treaty deserves scrutiny. Obama promptly reneging on a budding security agreement with Poland and the Czech Republic who are strong, trusted friends to the U.S. yet thrown under the bus by the new President as he cancelled the work done by the Bush administration. He wanted no part of Bush policy as far as missile defense goes. It was a childish and short sighted move on his part.

From 2009: On September 17, President Barack Obama officially announced that he would abandon the Eastern European missile-shield program, thus scrapping the treaties Gorge W. Bush had signed with Poland and the Czech Republic. The decision has drawn expressions of dismay from the governments of both countries.

This was a big,deep bow to Russia. What did it accomplish? More of slapping our friends and trusted allies while rolling over for those untrustworthy. The Senate is right to take its time and assure our friends of our support when it is needed.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Meal of First Family No Healthy Example

Here's the thing: If your agenda is to travel around spouting off about healthy eating, maybe your own family's holiday menu should reflect that. Knowing that the First Family will have their menu published, why not lead by example?

Too many appetizers to bother listing.

Kick-off the main event with:


And then some Ham

And a choice of stuffings:

Cornbread Stuffing or

Oyster Stuffing

Or WTH have both.

Then some Greens naturally.

And, of course, Sweet Potatoes.

And it would be anti-American not to have Mashed Potatoes.

And don't forget the Green Bean Casserole.

Oh, and a mountain of Macaroni and Cheese too.

And, to be polite, unlimited Dinner Rolls.

Well, at least greens were listed. We all know that green bean casserole doesn't' count as a vegetable. This menu is starch heaven, though.

And, then, the pies. Not just one or two, as most families enjoy. We have a truck load here:

Apple Pie (Michigan's a battleground state, you know) and

Pumpkin Pie (it's patriotic) and

Banana Cream Pie to cleanse the palate for

Cherry Pie and

Huckleberry Pie and

The Main Man's Fave: Sweet Potato Pie.

Six, count 'em, six different pies, folks. Wow.

Just seems like if healthy eating is the premiere issue for Michelle Obama, she should try a bit harder in her own life.

More Bias From Those In Journalism

They don't really think they are biased or partisan.

Watching two people - one female and one male - who have co-authored a book on the financial crisis as they are interviewed, the female said they have no bias, no partisan stances, they are simply journalists reporting on the facts.

Which was kind of funny since the male began the interview by stating he felt a little weird that he was in "enemy territory", being as he was in a FOX Business Channel studio. He writes for The New York Times, you see, so he had to get the FOX bash out as the first words he uttered. Nice.

Just a journalist. Just reporting on the facts.

This comes on a day when this article appears online. There will be much bellowing from liberal parlors over that interview. The same liberal reporters who turn a blind eye to the bias of President Obama using the top guy at alphabet networks on advisory councils and traveling with them on junkets will have plenty to say about FOX News' Ailes giving his opinion.

"The president has not been very successful,”Ailes told The Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz. “He just got kicked from Mumbai to South Korea, and he came home and attacked Republicans for it. He had to be told by the French and the Germans that his socialism was too far left for them to deal with."
"He just has a different belief system than most Americans," Ailes added.

The article's title screams that Ailes says Obama is a failed socialist. That is clearly not a quote from the article. Ailes mentions Obama's "socialism" and belief system. Hardly breaking news. Nor is Ailes statement different than that of millions of Americans. In a right of center country, far left ideologues governing with their political philosophy borne out of life experiences creates a different belief system than the rest of Americans. It's truthful and therefore the Obamatrons in the press will have none of it. The opportunity was taken to twist the headline for attention.

Just reporting, right?

And, Barbara Walters, interviewing President Obama. What a train wreck. We remember the slobbering over him by the chicks on The View as a candidate and then as President. She wanted to give him more than one chance to belittle Sarah Palin, who recently said she thinks she could beat him if she chooses to run for President. He, to his credit, chose to side step the question. In her world, it is unthinkable that someone like Palin would dare to challenge Obama and be taken seriously.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanking Sarah J. Buell

Giving credit where credit is due, Newt Gingrich tells the story of Sarah J. Buell. Ms. Buell is the person responsible for making Thanksgiving Day a national holiday, with the help of President Lincoln.

Born Sarah J. Buell on October 24, 1788, in Newport, New Hampshire, it was Sarah Josepha Hale's persistent petitions that brought about the holiday. She sent hundreds of letters to politicians including five presidents imploring them to institute a national day of thanksgiving.

Buell became one of the most influential women in the United States as the editor of the most widely circulated women's magazine called Godey's Lady's Book. She also penned "Mary Had a Little Lamb," the most-well-known poem in American history.

But it was not until 1863, when Abraham Lincoln received her letter in the midst of the Civil War that the New England tradition would become a national one. "If every state would join in Thanksgiving," she wrote, "would it not be a renewed pledge of love and loyalty to the Constitution?" Lincoln agreed.

He set apart the last Thursday of November as a day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens." He called upon Americans "that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union."

Lincoln would issue three more Thanksgiving Proclamations from the White House. Subsequent presidents issued similar proclamations but the states chose different days for the thanksgiving observance. It was not until 1934 that Franklin Delano Roosevelt said that to “set aside in the autumn of each year a day on which to give thanks to Almighty God for the blessings of life is a wise and reverent custom, long cherished by our people." In 1941, the Congress made the third Thursday of November an official national holiday.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Obama Touts Bail-Outs in Kokomo

"A tax cut means higher family income and higher business profits and a balanced federal budget.... As the national income grows, the federal government will ultimately end up with more revenues. Prosperity is the real way to balance our budget. By lowering tax rates, by increasing jobs and income, we can expand tax revenues and finally bring our budget into balance." JFK

Recently, Sen John Cornyn reminded us of this quote. A congress willing to vote on extending the tax code in place for the last decade - the "Bush" tax cuts - to all Americans would go far to bolster our sagging economy and high unemployment rate. A congress willing to submit a federal budget for a vote would be a confidence builder, too. Congress has not failed to pass a budget for decades, yet this Democrat controlled Congress, along with a Democratic president, has done so.

President Obama went to Kokomo, Indiana to crow about the perception of bail-out success at the GM plant there. Full of himself, as is his persona, he bragged: “We made the decision to stand with you because we had confidence in the American worker,” he said. “So here’s the lesson. Don’t bet against America. Don’t bet against the American auto industry. Don’t bet against the American ingenuity. Don’t bet against the American worker.”

As the article reminds the reader, the government - you and me - sunk $50 billion dollars to save jobs and now own 60% of the company. Then, since he is in full blown campaign mode for his re-election, he wants everyone to feel good about the expenditure. Don't bet against America? Who was doing that? The critics of these endless bail-out were betting on America and the American entrepreneurial spirit. It is not in our nature to encourage governmental take-over of private industry. We do not want to become Venezuela.

Obama and his entourage from Washington went to Indiana because it is a swing state in recent election history. It is a red state after the last election, the mid-term elections in November. This is troubling for Team Obama. They would like to count on the Hoosier state for Obama's re-election in 2012, as the state went for him in 2008. Not. Gonna. Happen.

Oh yeah, Obama and sidekick VP Joe Biden also stopped in for a deep fried fix at a bakery purchased with stimulus funds. Coincidence? Sure it was.

You know what betting on America looks like? It would be a Presidential visit to a Ford plant to thank them for their hard work, too. Ford was the only domestic automaker that didn't ask for a bail-out. They are succeeding just fine, thank you.

Salazar Meets With Leaders On Oil Spill Tensions

Secretary Salazar met with oil and gas executives to smooth the way to a better relationship on the request of Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA). She removed her hold on an Obama nominee in exchange for the meeting held Monday. Lawmakers present from both parties agreed afterward that the meeting was just more talk.

A much-anticipated meeting to smooth over tensions between Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and the drilling industry appeared to falter Monday as oil and gas executives, joined by Gulf state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, described Mr. Salazar's visit to Houma, La., as all talk and little action.

Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, Louisiana Democrat, secured the meeting last week in exchange for releasing a legislative hold she had placed on President Obama's budget director nominee. She and other advocates of offshore drilling hoped Mr. Salazar's visit would be accompanied by a streamlined process for approving permits in the wake of the Obama administration's decision to lift its ban on offshore drilling, which it imposed in the aftermath of the BP PLC oil spill this year.

Michael Bromwich, director of Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, announced that 20 more employees have been assigned to "deal with" Gulf drilling permits and consultation with members of the industry. Mary Landrieu was having none of it. She criticized the moratorium still in place vis a vis the inexcusable backlog of permits waiting to be issued so that oil drilling rigs may work in the Gulf of Mexico. She promises to keep the pressure on the administration.

Frankly, I have little faith in Landrieu or her promises. She's a career politician with an eye on the next election. I did find it encouraging that she placed a hold on the Obama nominee until she was given the 'yes' to this meeting.

Most in the industry are convinced that Obama and his administration are convinced that they are determined to shut down the domestic oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. And, with the new book out written by LA Governor Bobby Jindal, there is plenty of support available that Obama is far more interested in his own selfish best interests than that of the Gulf coast or the oil and natural gas industry.

While some drilling continues in the Gulf of Mexico, the future is in the deep water drilling. Since June, when new rules for shallow wells went into place, regulators have approved 16 new permits, officials said. Shallow water wells are those drilled in waters up to 500 feet deep.

Still, regulators have not approved a single new deepwater well, which are drilled in waters deeper than 500 feet. The most promising oil reserves in the Gulf are in deeper waters.

The administration is announcing new wind farms going up along the Atlantic coast thanks to taxpayer subsidies. Currently only 2% of our energy needs are met with wind and solar power. And, it is considerably more expensive than oil, natural gas or coal. Let the free market decide. Allow all energy sources to flourish and allow nation's energy independence.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Go Ahead, Warren Buffett. Pay More Taxes

Warren Buffett wants you to know he should be paying more taxes, what with being so wealthy and all.

"If anything, taxes for the lower and middle class and maybe even the upper middle class should even probably be cut further," Buffett said. "But I think that people at the high end -- people like myself -- should be paying a lot more in taxes. We have it better than we've ever had it."

I would refer him to something former President George W. Bush said in his State of the Union Address in 2008. Others have said they would personally be happy to pay higher taxes. I welcome their enthusiasm. I'm pleased to report that the IRS accepts both checks and money orders.

Go ahead and knock yourself out, Mr. Buffett. Write as many checks to the government as it takes to alleviate your limousine liberal guilt.

Oh yeah, there is this little tidbit at the bottom of the article:

The White House announced on Wednesday that President Obama will award Buffett a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, early next year. The interview timing and the announcement is probably just a coincidence. Surely Buffett wouldn't want to try and influence tax policy as the Congress punts the expiring tax code from the Bush years, now would he?

Sarah Palin And Her Alaska

Former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara appeared on Larry King Live. This is the bit that will be the juicy bit picked up by the various media with a passion for blasting Sarah Palin:

When asked by King what her impressions of the former Alaska governor were, Barbara Bush quickly responded, "I sat next to her once. Thought she was beautiful. And I think she's very happy in Alaska, and I hope she'll stay there."

This quote has been used endlessly to promote the show and has appeared in print.

I adore Barbara Bush. What a life she has led. The wife of an incredible American hero and the mom of a former President and two former Governors, she is a force to be reckoned with. I respect her honesty most of all. I don't think she made that remark with malice yet no doubt it will be hyped that way by the liberals who are so obsessed with hating Sarah Palin.

I watched both of the episodes that have aired of Sarah Palin's reality show. It's a terrific showcase for the State of Alaska and a warm and fuzzy commercial for Sarah Palin. There is nothing wrong with that, it sure beats a lot of the mish mash on the airwaves. It spotlights her love for her state and for her family. We knew all that anyway. This won't be one of the reality shows that you enjoy only to find out the people doing the 'living' in them are phonies and disgusting human beings.

My husband watched along, too. He is a fan. The clincher was the part of episode two where Sarah and some of the family learn to rock climb. My husband, for context here, is a documented, world class caver and he knows knots. And rappelling. He was impressed that they learned the old school way with knots, not the easier ways done today. So, kudos to Sarah Palin for rising above her fear of heights and climbing that mountain.

Sarah Palin does a service to parents by showing the joys of the outdoors. She is enthusiastic about outdoor sports and activities. She brings the kids along and First Dude, Todd, too. Good for her.

I confess. I have a bit of Sarah fatigue. She is everywhere. I understand the concept of striking while the iron is hot. Especially in politics. I wish her well on her book tour which is bound to produce the snarky reviews and gin up the haters. But, she'll remain in the headlines and her reality show will bring in the big audiences. She has star power.

The best attribute about Sarah Palin? She drives the leftists nuts. Priceless.

House To Vote On Rangel Censure

I almost feel sorry for Rep Charlie Rangel. Almost.

The House ethics committee voted to recommend a censure of Rep. Charlie Rangel after an adjudicatory panel ruled earlier this week that the New York Democrat has repeatedly violated the chamber’s rules. The full House must now vote to approve the punishment.

The verdict was delivered in two days.

The 9-1 vote by the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct sets up the extraordinary prospect of one of Capitol Hill's most powerful figures being forced to stand in the well of the chamber and be officially censured as a record of his misdeeds are read out to members.

The ethics committee made the recommendation two days after concluding that Mr. Rangel, a former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and one of the Hill's most prominent lawmakers, was guilty of 11 charges that he violated House ethics rules regarding financial reporting, use of official resources and fundraising. The committee also ordered Mr. Rangel to repay any unpaid back taxes related to the charges, a bill estimated at about $17,000

The full House vote on censure is thought to be scheduled after Thanksgiving.

The man is a decorated Korean War veteran. He received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. That is the war during which my own father served. He has been in the House of Representatives for forty years and risen in leadership with senority.

I think that is the problem, though. They just stay too long, those elected officials in Washington. They become corrupted and then the people they represent lose. It even happens to war heroes.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Tea Party Dissed By Katty Kay

The liberal members of the media, which would be most of them, still do not understand the intentions of the Tea Party. After almost two years since the emergence of this grassroots, ever growing segment of our country, the guests on the chat shows who are journalists in their day jobs spout statements showing the ignorance.

Appearing as a panel member on Sunday’s syndicated Chris Matthews Show, the BBC’s Katty Kay suggested that Tea Partiers are willing to go against the "country’s interest" rather than to "deal" with President Obama. Kay: "And if there is going to be a wing of the Republican Party that says, do not on any issue, on any case, even on its merits, compromise with the President, it’s gonna be the Tea Party. And if the Tea Party is driving the energy in the Republican Party ... Republicans in Congress are going to have to look very carefully at how they deal with them. And the Tea Party is saying we don’t care about whether it’s in the country’s interest, in our foreign policy interest, in our economic interest necessarily to deal with the President."

You see, to the likes of Katty Kay, if you oppose Barack Obama, you are not operating for the good of your country. Funny, I don't remember this sort of sentiment from her when George W. Bush was President and smiling as she reported on demonstrations and rallies against his policies. Maybe I just don't properly remember the eight Bush years.

I don't consider myself a member of the Tea Party. I am a Republican. I do, however, fully embrace the Tea Party to join in with the Republicans in providing an alternative to the Democratic leadership in Washington. I've never been to a Tea Party rally but I've cheered them on as I've watched the press coverage.

The Tea Party movement is comprised of mostly newly active people in the realm of politics. Whether it was the attacks of 9/11/01 or the bail-outs in Washington, huge numbers of ordinary Americans from all walks of life have taken the steps to get involved. It's not easy to do, as a person starts out in the political process. It is a bit of sticking one's neck out and hoping it doesn't get chopped off.

The reason for the Tea Party, though, is a bit of common sense that those like Miss Kay fail to understand. It is for the good of the country, as they see it, not towards the demise of the country that they take to the streets in rallies and marches and protests. It is not against Barack Obama personally. It is against the policies of the far left that he moves forward.

This is America at her best.

Ordinary Americans boldly joining in with like-minded friends and neighbors to make their demands known to the elected officials in charge. It is invigorating to political junkies and long time participants in the process. Ordinary Americans embracing little read or thought about American documents like the Constitution or the Bill of Rights? What is better than that for the health of our nation? Discussions revolving around the lives of the Founding Fathers and the accomplishments of our young nation are music to my ears.

I have long lamented the absence of Civics class in today's school curriculum. I cringe when a bit is filmed on a late night comedy show as the person on the street fails a pop quiz on the names of elected officials - whether it is the Vice President or a Supreme Court Justice or even Speaker of the House. It is a disgrace to those who fought and lost their lives for our freedoms today. I want voters to know how a bill becomes law, how the Census affects everyone, the importance of simply voting - in every election. I do not celebrate ignorance or complacency.

So, my opinion would be the mirror opposite of Katty Kay's. I believe it is in the country's best interests to speak up when those in Washington ride off without consideration for the basics of our Constitution or little caution shown in the spending of taxpayer dollars. They work for us, those folks in Washington. They are hired when they win an election. That's how it works.

Take notes, Katty Kay.

Obama Botches START Treaty Ratification With GOP

President Obama is fond of quoting and using Ronald Reagan references in his speeches when he wants Republicans to get on board with something. Now he would like the Senate to play ball and ratify the START Treaty during this lame duck session.

Obama mentioned Ronald Reagan four times in his weekly address, noting that when the Republican president signed a nuclear arms treaty with the Soviet Union in 1987 he said, “trust but verify.”

“That is precisely what the New START Treaty does,” the president said of the new nuclear treaty that he signed with Russian President Medvedev in April.

“After nearly a full year of negotiations, we completed an agreement earlier this year that cuts by a third the number of long-range nuclear weapons and delivery vehicles that the United States and Russia can deploy, while ensuring that America retains a strong nuclear deterrent, and can put inspectors back on the ground in Russia.”

Republicans, feeling the pressure of voters who turned out in record numbers for a mid-term election and delivered a solid Republican victory night, are leery of the President's claims that the treaty must be ratified "quickly" by the Senate. His rush to legislate has put us in the continuing mess we experience today.

In recent days, Obama has publicly raised the stakes for Republicans opposed to the treaty, which allows U.S. inspectors to monitor Russian arsenals during the nuclear disarmament process. This week, flanked by an impressive roster of American foreign policy titans — including prominent Republicans — Obama pressured the Senate to act while demonstrating strong bipartisan backing for the treaty.Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1110/45437.html#ixzz15vIoc6GD

And, by the way, why hasn't Obama learned yet that "chiding" is not the same as persuading the opposition party to come to your side of an agreement?

The treaty was signed last April. There are 59 Democratic Senators serving now. Why has the treaty just now been the sole foreign policy focus for Obama's administration? Because it really isn't such a top priority? Because now that the mid-term election results are in, the Democratic majority has shrunk and pushing everything is mandatory before the new session begins?

Senator Kyl is a respected member who thoughtfully contemplates legislation. He is not some glory hound looking to get headlines for opposing the President. Administration officials - anonymous, of course - send out talking points and are ramping up the pressure on Kyl.

We’re hearing from Senator Kyl that we came too late with this offer, we don’t have enough time to study it. It’s quite an extraordinary thing, showing the budget to Congress three months early, I don’t think it’s ever been done before. And two days after we finalized the numbers, we flew a team to Arizona to see him and present it to him for three hours. So now he says we are ‘too late,’ when it was he who laid out the schedule,” one senior administration official said.

We will soon know if the vote happens or not in the lame duck session.

Jindal Blasts Obama Gulf Spill Response In New Book

In Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's book, Leadership and Crisis, the utter incompetence of the Obama administration's ability to deal effectively in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill tragedy is in your face.

When Governor Jindal met President Obama on the tarmac in New Orleans two weeks after the disaster - yes, it was 2 weeks before Obama bothered to show up - he pulled Jindal aside immediately and chastised him for a letter sent to his Agriculture Secretary requesting immediate action on food stamp aid for those who would be without jobs due to the oil spill. He didn't talk about anything he was doing from Washington, he didn't talk about BP's actions, he didn't talk about anything immediately in front of them, of us as a nation answering the call of our fellow countrymen and women. No, he was torqued up about perceived slights to himself in the letter to the Agriculture Secretary. Unbelievable.

You can read it here.

The vanity is always on full display. This man in the top leadership level in our country cannot look at any issue other than how it applies to his life and himself. Does anyone remember how he took every opportunity to criticize the Katrina response and bellowed, "Never again"? Well, his own test came and he failed spectacularly.

I am grateful to Governor Jindal for writing this book and setting the record straight. I know way more about this subject than I could ever bore a reader with but suffice it to say, as the wife of an engineer in the oil drilling industry the Obama administration is hell bent on destroying Gulf coast operations. The response of the moratorium is a top example of their ideological approach to energy policy. It's politics and rewarding special interests at the expense of our nation's needs.

This book is in my to-read stack. I look forward to reading the whole story.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

David Gregory Blames GOP For Obama Loss of Prestiage

There is a reason I no longer watch Meet the Press on Sunday mornings. The host, David Gregory, is not at all capable of rising to the level of professionalism exhibited by the late Tim Russert. And the show is no longer worth watching unless you are a liberal ideologue. Sad, but true.

According to reports, Gregory performed true to record by asking Secretary of State Clinton if the GOP opposition to the signing of the START Treaty in the lame duck session hurts America and President Obama abroad. Yes, really. He did.

Here's Hillary's answer from the transcript:

HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, I think the president believes strongly, and I agree with him, that this treaty is in the national security interest of the United States. And it's not only Americans who believe that. I'm, you know, very impressed by the number of leaders at the NATO Lisbon summit who voluntarily told their own press, or American press, they were chasing down reporters to say this is so much in the interest of Europe and others. So the president sees this very clearly. But I don't think he considers this a political issue. It's a question of whether we have the time and whether we can make the case in the limited time that the lame duck provides to satisfy the concerns of two-thirds of the Senate. I think we can. I think that everyone has operated in good faith. We have looked hard at this. When it came out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, it came out with an overwhelming bipartisan vote, 14-to-4. I think that the questions are being--that are being asked by Republicans deserve thoughtful answers. And everyone in the administration stands ready, from Bob Gates to Jim Clapper, the head of the--director of national intelligence, because we all see it in the same way. And we're in the tradition of both Republican and Democratic presidents, going back to Ronald Reagan, who famously said, "Trust, but verify." We have no verification without a treaty about what's going on in Russia's nuclear program. So I think whether you're, you know, already convinced or can be convinced, I think we want to get our inspectors back on the ground, and the only way to do that is by ratifying this treaty.

Not accepting a non-partisan, completely diplomatic answer to his ideologically motivated question, Gregory pursues the issue:

MR. GREGORY: Is there an issue, though, of American prestige? The president was dealt a setback on fair trade when he was in Seoul. There was a feeling, when it comes to whether it's trade or economic policy, that America can't always get what it wants. Is this going to potentially be a problem with the president not being able to get what he wants on the world stage because of Republicans

Never mind that the fact that Obama failed to get the trade agreement with South Korea signed due to his own bumbling. It is well documented that the agreement fell through, after only lacking final signatures thanks to the previous administration's work, because Obama decided to make last minute demands and the South Koreans felt blind-sided. Obama's inexperience and arrogance were on full display and the South Koreans wanted no part of it.

Perhaps Gregory should put down the talking points from the White House and begin to think a bit for himself.

McConnell Delivers GOP Weekly Address

Saturday, November 20, 2010

GA Blogger Jumps Into TX Speaker Race

Why has the founder of a conservative blog, in Georgia, become so heavily invested in the race for Speaker of the House in the Texas state legislature? Why would this city council member from Macon, Georgia and professional blogger, as well as a newly popular conservative commentator on talking head cable shows and radio star wanna be (he all but begs Rush to allow him to guest host) decide to make a stand on his choice for this particular election?

I dared to make a comment on his Facebook page as he weighed in on the race - encouraging his Texas readers to call House members and asking them to "burn up some phone lines". I did so because I just think his involvement is strange. Maybe it's me. Maybe not. I have no way of knowing. He, however, responded, making references to 'stuck pigs' so there you have that, for whatever it's worth.

Let me be clear in this disclosure: I make no endorsements about the Texas House Speaker's race. I am a Republican Womens Club PAC President here in Houston and a member of the Texas Federation of Republican Women. I am required to remain neutral in races involving two or more Republicans, as a club president. Do not read into this post an endorsement of any kind. That is not the point of my thoughts here.

I know this race has gotten really ugly. Speaker Joe Straus, running for re-election as Speaker of the House, is witnessing his record blown up and described in less than 100% truthful by those wishing for a new leader. There is even an anti-Semitic factor to it all. Score! Straus is Jewish and there are anonymous robo-calls circulating calling for a "Christian" Speaker. Wow. How utterly backwards and despicable.

The Texas House of Representatives under Speaker Straus was comprised of 76 Republicans and 74 Democrats. A slim two seats separated the two parties. When Straus ran for Speaker, he acquired a good amount of Democratic support. That said quite a lot, frankly. Some, like this conservative blogger, consider this a bad thing. How dare he reach out for support from the other side of the aisle!

About Straus's record - the opposition is led by social conservatives crying foul that Straus has a record of 100% with NARAL. However, Straus must be doing a decent job in representing all Texans, since he also has a letter of endorsement from the Texans for Life President. Also signing that letter are many Republicans, none of whom are known as too liberal for credibility.

Here is a fact check on the NARAL rating: http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2010/11/heat-index-a-fact-check-of-str.html

So, maybe this Georgia blogger is falling for the bogus claims spread about Straus on other hot button issues - like the failure to pass the Voter ID bill. Well, that was the doing of the Democrats, not Speaker Straus - who voted for it in 2007, and it was technical wrangling. The above referenced letter refers to that, too.

Under Speaker Straus, the recent elections in Texas saw big victories for Republicans. We now have a decisive majority. Does he receive no credit for that?

The problem with social conservatives who place purity on all opinions above common sense governance is that they look like illogical ideologues. They wish to pick a fight simply to score points for picking a fight. It's divisive and unproductive. Republicans should be savoring the victories and planning for the next session, not squabbling over non-issues spurred on by outsiders looking to promote a national presence.

As fellow movement conservatives, we have the same desire as many of you: to advance the conservative agenda in Austin, and our shared values. We believe in the sanctity of life, the power of private individuals to create opportunity rather than government, personal responsibility rather than increased dependency, and constitutional limits to the size and scope of government. We are here to tell you, in all these matters, we have an ally in Speaker Joe Straus.

Let’s set aside recent rhetoric, and just look at the record. In his first term as Speaker the Texas House – with just a two-vote majority – we achieved the following:

•Passed a balanced budget with a $1.6 billion reduction in general revenue spending – just the 2nd time we have reduced spending from general revenue since World War II.
•Enacted tax cuts for 40,000 small businesses previously subject to the business margins tax.
•Set aside $9.1 billion in the state’s Rainy Day Fund, ensuring we could address future budgetary challenges without raising taxes.

Since the session ended, Speaker Straus has joined Governor Perry and Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst in mandating immediate five percent spending cuts at all but a few state agencies. And Speaker Straus has directed members of key committees to look at all ways to find savings and cuts in state spending, taking tax hikes off the table as an option in the next session.

This professional blogger was offered the opportunity to speak with Strauss and address any concerns he has, yet he chose to use his nationally read blog to belittle the campaign representative who arranged the opportunity. Is this good and productive discourse for someone who claims to have the best interests of Texas in place? Why would he devolve into the politics of mud-slinging himself? Is that the moral path?

I respectfully ask my fellow Texas residents to do the homework. Do not discredit a politician on grounds that he can work with the other party. That is mature leadership, not selling out his party principles. Stop following bad advice from a person looking to score points from afar. Or, to enhance his own presence in our state.

Ask yourself, why is a professional Georgia blogger doing it?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Slurpee Summit Re-Scheduled For November 30

The Obama administration rushed to grab a headline to announce a meeting with GOP leadership at the White House scheduled for Thursday, but GOP leadership said, not so fast.

So, Thursday came and went without the joint meeting. One can understand the hesitancy of Republicans to walk into another Obama ambush, as has been his history when he has bothered to meet with them at all.

Obama's spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said the meeting was put off at the request of Republican leaders in the Senate and the House of Representatives due to as scheduling conflict. In the elections Republicans won control of the House and cut the Democratic lead in the Senate.

The 'slurpee summit' will happen at a re-scheduled date, November 30.

This is the week that newly elected politicians are attending orientation and organizing for governing when they are sworn into office in January. Obama announced the joint meeting as he traveled in Asia, no doubt to tamp down the proclamations that he must now begin to work with the opposition party in Congress.

With Majority Leader Reid in the Senate stating that they just may have to work over the weekend to extend unemployment benefits yet still refusing to allow a vote on extending the tax policies of the last decade as they expire just days before the new Congress is sworn in, who sees signs of true will to work together?

Democrats have been in control of Congress since 2007. President Obama has not lived up to his promise of being a post-partisan President. He name calls and bullies instead of using the power of persuasion when the GOP opposes his policies. He, Pelosi and Reid have employed the use of closed door meetings to hash out deals on legislation.

While guardedly optimistic, you'll excuse the Republican leadership if they appear a bit skeptic about a fresh start for bi-partisanship on Capitol Hill.

Republican Governors Association Recognizes Three Women Winners

You probably are not aware that history was made for Hispanic American women as the first one was elected as a Governor. Susana Martinez is the newly elected Governor of New Mexico. She's a Republican so that doesn't seem to be such a big thing to the press.

The Republican Governors Association honored three women to their ranks as a result of the November elections. The Republican Governors Association spotlighted Governors-elect Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Mary Fallin of Oklahoma and Susana Martinez of New Mexico on Wednesday in a news conference designed to showcase the GOP’s diversity.

Mary Fallin is the first woman elected Governor of Oklahoma.

Nikki Haley is Indian-American, like her counterpart in Louisiana, Bobby Jindal. Jindal's election as Governor of Louisiana was historic as the first Indian-American to attain that position in our country.

All three women encouraged the audience to embrace them as politicians, not women politicians. That is refreshing, as so often our Democratic sisters tend to perpetuate the mantel of victimhood as women seeking positions of power.

While diversity was the key message the RGA looked to deliver, each of the Republicans made it clear that they won on the same issues that swept the GOP into state and federal offices across the country.

It was good to read these three women were touting their personal campaign platforms of conservative governing policies instead of capitalizing on their gender.

Well done, my sisters!

Rockefeller Wants FOX and MSNBC Off Air

Sometimes the arrogance gets to be a bit too much. From Real Clear Politics:

SEN. JAY ROCKEFELLER (D-WV): "There's a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to FOX and to MSNBC: 'Out. Off. End. Goodbye.' It would be a big favor to political discourse; our ability to do our work here in Congress, and to the American people, to be able to talk with each other and have some faith in their government and more importantly, in their future."

Yes, Senator Rockefeller's job would no doubt be easier if there were less voices out there weighing in. However, Rockefeller seems to have forgotten that he works for the people in his state, not for himself.

No doubt Rockefeller's job would be easier if we went back to the bad old days of no balance for conservative thought or talk. If we went back to just the alphabet networks and CNN, life would be much rosier for liberals like Rockefeller. There is no dissent on networks where all voices agree or maybe a token conservative is allowed on a panel now and then only to be shouted down by the rest.

MSNBC is for the far left wingbat sector of the Democratic party. They are currently becoming quite disenchanted with President Obama for not being as far left as they hoped he would be. They are the ultimate Obama fanboys and fangirls. Tingling legs and all. The irony is that this network more than any other loves to criticize FOX for alleged bias. In the minds of the far left, if any other voice is heard, it must be silenced.

Here's the interesting part about cable news outlets, though... FOX is higher rated than any other. The lead established by FOX is in no danger of faltering. This is a center-right nation, still, despite the election of Barack Obama. People are hungry to hear all sides of an argument or a subject before Congress. MSNBC is the lowest rated of the cable networks. They are a liberal vacuum.

And, oh yeah. Rockefeller's wife heads up public television in Washington, D.C.

Sounds like Rockefeller has been in elected office a bit too long.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

GOP Leadership Elections Held in House

Without the drama present within the Democratic side of the aisle, Republicans elected John Boehner as the next Speaker of the House.

The unanimous voice vote came in a closed-door conference meeting in the Longworth House Office building. The two-decade veteran of Congress from western Ohio saw no opposition and he will ascend to the top perch in the House when Republicans officially take control in January. Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss and North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, two of Boehner's best friends from their days in the House, came to Longworth for the nomination.

It was a good day for Boehner. A big job confirmed and birthday cake, too.

After he was given the nod as speaker, two aides rolled out a green birthday cake to wish Boehner a happy birthday on his 61st He was elected the 61st Speaker of the House on his 61st birthday. Nice.

Also announced was Eric Cantor's election as majority leader and Kevin McCarthy as majority whip.

Republican Conference chair is Jeb Hensarling - who made headlines for his contested race with Michelle Bachmann. Freshmen Elected Leadership Committee slots were filled by Kristi Noem of South Dakota and Tim Scott of South Carolina.

This is a statement from Boehner on his Facebook page about his election:

I'm honored to have been elected by my colleagues to be Speaker-designate for the 112th Congress. Our new majority - forged by a movement that has repudiated Washington - will be humbler, wiser, & more focused on the priorities of the people. Americans want a smaller, less costly, more accountable government; more jobs... & less spending. Our team, anchored by more than 80 new members, will fight to make it happen.

Sounds good.

Pelosi To Lead House Democratic Minority

Nancy Pelosi won her race to be Minority Leader in the House of Representatives. She was briefly and not very seriously challenged by Rep. Heath Schuler who did garner 43votes. So, the Democrats once again look to Grandma MiMi to lead them.

High Five, fellow Republicans! This is terrific news!

I love that the Democrats have such a shallow bench to call upon for leadership and I definitely love that Pelosi is it again. She is the gift that keeps on giving.

She deserves the position, make no mistake about that. Though I do not agree with her politics, I admire the tenacity and abilities of this woman to push the President's (and her) agenda through Congress. She could not have accomplished a better record for far left wing politics. The woman can get the votes.

Along the way the Democrats have been exposed for the hypocrites that they are. There was a race war waging between Hoyer and Clyburn for the second in command and it divided along racial lines in support. Pelosi - again, the skilled politician that she is - made up a new position for Clyburn as she supported her rival Hoyer as second to her in power. She smoothed the ruffled feathers enough for the Congressional Black Caucus, who denied her their support until they were assured of Clyburn's importance, to in the end support her. The woman is smooth.

Her strengths are not articulate speech making or even press conferences. She stammers and is not much for looking so sophisticated in her delivery. Her strengths lie in the behind the scenes deals, in the bribes, in the deal making. That is her forte. Remember that she is from a political family in Baltimore - her father the former mayor of that city - and she is no babe in the woods.

Pelosi puts in the time and energy necessary to attain the goals of Democrats. Of this President. Of herself. She's good at standard exploitation of the powerless - it's for the children, it's for the poor, etc. She is a classic European style democrat- socialist. It is who she is.

And, that, my fellow Republicans, is a good thing for our side. Long may she reign.

Oh yeah - the reason she is so very unpopular in the polls? It's the Republicans fault.

“How would your ratings be if $75 million were spent against you?” Pelosi said, after being asked about her low approval ratings.

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll taken at the end of October found that only eight percent of independents have a favorable view of Pelosi and just 24 percent of the general population approves of her job as Speaker. In the waning days of the 111th Congress, 73 percent disprove Congress as a whole, according to the Real Clear Politics poll average.

Just smile.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

House Ethics Committee Rules on Rangel

Representative Charlie Rangel (D-NY) walked into the House Ethics Committee trial meeting to hear the charges of corruption against him and hoped to successfully argue for a delay. That didn't happen. Much to Rangel's surprise, the committee proceeded.

Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) pleaded with a House panel Monday to delay his long-awaited public trial on corruption charges, saying he needed time to find a new lawyer, but his request was rejected and the session went ahead without him.

The panel later deemed the charges against Rangel to be "uncontested" and decided to deliberate on them, dispensing with the trial phase of the case.

Rangel even tried to play on the emotions of his colleagues:

The 80-year-old Mr. Rangel, a one-time chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and one of the most powerful black lawmakers in Congress, stunned colleagues at the start of an adjudicatory hearing of the House Committee on the Standards of Official Conduct, announcing he would not offer a defense in the probe into charges he abused his office and violated House rules on financial reporting and fundraising.

"Fifty years of public service are on the line," an emotional Mr. Rangel told the panel of four Democrats and four Republicans on Monday morning before departing. "I truly believe I am not being treated fairly."

The facts are not in Rangel's favor, however. He was informed of the charges against him in June and he has the option of forming a legal defense fund to pay for his lawyers. The man has been in Congress for decades. None of this is news to him. The surprise to him is in his prosecution. Having been in office for so long, he has fallen victim to the arrogant thinking of a long serving elected official.

According to reports, the committee deliberated for 4 hours.

And then the verdict. A House panel on Tuesday found Representative Charles B. Rangel guilty of 11 counts of ethical violations, ruling that his failure to pay taxes, improper solicitation of fund-raising donations and failure to accurately report his personal income had brought dishonor on the House. Two other counts, involving Mr. Rangel’s misuse of House franking privileges, were merged into one.

And Rangel's statement in response to the verdict, according to the same article: “How can anyone have confidence in the decision of the Ethics Subcommittee when I was deprived of due process rights, right to counsel and was not even in the room?” the statement read. “I can only hope that the full Committee will treat me more fairly, and take into account my entire 40 years of service to the Congress before making any decisions on sanctions.” The committee’s verdict is a stinging rebuke for Mr. Rangel, who has represented Harlem for 40 years and was once one of the most imposing Democrats in Washington.

Denied due process? Hardly. He thought that his stunt of not hiring counsel and then abruptly leaving the room as the committee was about to hear the charges and testimony would allow the process to continue. He thought wrong this time.

Maybe, at the age of 80 and with the abuse of office apparent, it is time for Rangel to seriously think about retirement.

Establishment GOP Doesn't Exist

Where is this 'establishment' GOP we hear about anyway? Pundits and those who make a practice of blathering on about the boogie man - the 'establishment' Republican in Washington - to boost blog traffic and appeal to some in the Tea Party movement have beat that dead horse for over two years now. Isn't it clear by now that obstacle to political progress is non-existent?

Every time the grassroots have risen up and demanded changes, the Republican party leadership in power has accommodated. Maybe it wasn't an overnight change but change has been made. Two examples are in the news, both Senate Minority Leader McConnell and House Minority Leader Boehner. Just this week, Senator McConnell announced he would support a ban on earmarks for the next two years. This is a change from his previous position.

“There is simply no doubt that the abuse of this practice has caused Americans to view it as a symbol of the waste and out-of-control spending that every Republican in Washington is determined to fight,” McConnell said Monday in a speech on the Senate floor.

“And unless people like me show the American people that we’re willing to follow through on small or even symbolic things, we risk losing them on our broader efforts to cut spending and rein in government,” he said.

With soon-to-be Speaker of the House Boehner, who has represented his district in Ohio in Washington since his election in 1990, he is a strong opponent of earmarks and always has been. He would be a part of the establishment to the complainers and yet he, too, has had no trouble embracing the Tea Party movement.Thomas Edsall, a professor at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, said Boehner hasn’t stumbled out of the gate: “So far, so good.”

Edsall said the debate over whether Pelosi should run for minority leader has caused a lot of dissension in the Democratic Caucus.

“There hasn’t been that sort of dissension in the Republican Party, in part because Boehner has worked with the Tea Party,” he added.

The guy even announced that he would be continuing his habit of flying commercial airlines back and forth to his Ohio district. That's a change from Speaker Pelosi who not only demanded and received the largest military jet ever used by a Speaker of the House, but enjoyed schlepping her family and friends along with her.

Those railing about establishment GOP may be the same as those who use the other irrelevant term, RINO. Silly at best. Divisive at worst.

Press Begins To Demand Answers From Obama Administration

One result of the GOP sweep into the majority of the House of Representatives is this: I actually witnessed David Gregory on Meet the Press grill David Axelrod on specifics as Axelrod went into the usual riff on Republicans - that they won't work with Obama. It was so unusual that it caught my attention, which speaks to the sad state of affairs in today's journalism and the talking heads shows on television. Since his inauguration and indeed, all along the campaign trail in 2008, President Obama has enjoyed a swooning adulation from the members of the press.

It is interesting because no one is happy with President Obama these days. Conservatives and Independents registered their dissatisfaction and voted out a record number of Democrats in the House of Representatives. Democrats are angry that Obama isn't liberal enough for them. To them, he should continue on his far left agenda but make absolutely no compromises or reasonable and common sense approach to any policy decision. Full speed ahead. Don't look back.

Democrats are furious and venting their anger at the President that the Democrats lost complete control on Capitol Hill. Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, says the White House misinterpreted election results. “It’s less ‘Oh no, they’re triangulating,’ and more ‘Boy, their political instincts are really stupid,’” he tells The Hill. The White House “fundamentally” doesn’t get that “the only way to get Republicans to deal in good faith is to fight them, crush them and teach a lesson that if Republicans are on the wrong side of an issue, there will be consequences. ... So it makes no sense to negotiate,” Green says.

See, that's the dirty little secret. The far left is just as stubborn and tone deaf as the far right. The far left, while complaining that the Republicans won't accept their horrible legislation presented for the President to sign and are the party of no (as the minority is supposed to be) want to "crush them" and "teach a lesson" to them.

Peace and love, y'all.

So, even the slobbering press is turning on the powers that be. Buyers remorse is running rampant among those who voted for Obama. I think some are beginning to feel downright foolish for being taken in by the hype and nonsensical rhetoric. Turns out there is much more to running a country than reading a speech off a teleprompter well. Much more. The man who voted 'present' more than any other politician in the Illinois State Legislature is actually expected to make a decision, to lead and convince this opponents of the wisdom of his decisions. Instead he bullies and insults Republicans. He refers to them as "the enemy" and implies they are too lazy (drinking slurpees) to get into the fray and offer up policy alternatives. Never mind that these alleged non-existent alternatives have been available on the Internet for months and months.

He's voted 'present' too often. No one is happy anymore.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

President Bush Enjoys His Book Tour

The week of non-stop George W. Bush interviews as he promotes his newly released book, "Decision Points" certainly does much to rehabilitate his image with those who were less than kind to him as he was President of the United States.

I have heard more than one talking head on television say it's too bad he couldn't put across his relaxed demeanor - taking himself lightly - more often as President. But, he was called upon to be a war president, no one more surprised than himself. He rose to the occasion and this citizen is forever grateful.

As Kinky Friedman writes Bush remains graceful even in the midst of constant criticism:

Legacies, at best, are studies in contrasts. History does not always get it right, but sometimes it does. Sam Houston, Abraham Lincoln, and Winston Churchill were cursed and reviled, called "traitor," "ape," "cowboy"; they are seen today as visionaries and portraits of greatness. There is no question that George W. Bush is a man with a spirit of generosity which extends even to his enemies, who snipe at him constantly and blame him for everything under the sun. He is also a man with the God-given ability to laugh at himself. So what if, praise Allah, Iraq keeps turning toward the good and becomes the second true democracy in the entire Middle East? Was it all worth it? Men and women of future generations may well say yes.

Too bad the "spirit of generosity" is not extended by President Obama to his critics. But, there is a big gulf between the visions and philosophies of Bush and Obama, not to mention the difference in personality and character.

You may remember the incredibly ridiculous magazine covers and articles written comparing Obama to the modern day FDR, or Lincoln. Obama really enjoys the Lincoln comparison - announcing his intention to run for President on the step at Springfield or conjuring him up in speech references. To those of us not besotted with the Obama candidacy, it was laughable yet just simply sad. Most of all proof that journalism is dead in this country. No in-depth background checks with accompanying stories for Obama. No gossip writers renting homes next to his to spy on his family and private home life. No concern about past associations with domestic terrorists or questioning why his college papers and records were under seal. No demands for his medical records. Nope. Just a whole lotta swooning and slobbering over America's first bi-racial president.

The humility factor is prominent within George W. Bush yet completely lacking in Barack Obama. Bush served his country out of a strong sense of duty and Obama serves out of the feeling of entitlement to the office. Yes, both men have big egos, a necessity for elected office yet the two men come off differently to the American public.

This is an often referred example of the over the top arrogance of Barack Obama in a speech as he defeated Hillary Clinton in the primaries:
I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth. This was the moment—this was the time—when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves and our highest ideals.

If that kind of arrogance and vanity doesn't make the listener simply cringe, something is very wrong. This is a man who criticizes the perceived arrogance of America yet doesn't seem to notice it within himself.

The stark contrast between the two men makes a person shake her head.

RNC Wants to Implement Evaluation Form For Chairman

A new purity test in the form of 'how competent are you, anyway?' is in the works for the next RNC chairman. According to this report, the RNC has figured out a new way to shoot itself in the foot.

The process is scheduled to wind up with the full membership using the evaluation form - a first in RNC history - to grade each candidate's ability to provide convincing evidence that he or she can promote unity among tea party, economic, social and defense conservatives, support the party's conservative platform, raise large sums of money and manage effectively and promote the party, its candidates and philosophy.

An evaluation form? Really? Will there be clipboards and pens issued so that everyone can choose from column A and column B? Has the GOP learned nothing about the perils of purity tests and the failure that occurs when everyone is expected to fit into a tidy little box?

How is a big tent strategy to be implemented with the new chairman if purity tests are in place for the top position? And, who gets to make the final judgements anyway? So far only those who previously ran for the position have announced a challenged to Michael Steele or are said to be considering making a challenge. While Steele has been in the chairmanship, the GOP has seen historic wins. Granted, the GOP benefited from the enthusiasm of the Tea Party and the GOP is a natural home for fiscal conservatives, but Steele embraced the Tea Party and supported the movement.

Purity tests don't work. They create friction where none needs be. To expect a group of people to recite goals and strategy exactly as they are expected to fit into a certain type of box is unrealistic. And, a political party needs many voices and ideas to survive. At a time when the GOP has a real shot at making this election into the first cycle of a two cycle election period on the way to a GOP majority in Washington, D.C., now is not the time to splinter us. Now is the time for everyone to pull together and work for the change the voters wanted.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Offshore Drilling Moratorium Continues With Permits Backlog

Lifting the offshore deep water drilling moratorium was only the first step to ending the job killing efforts of this administration towards the oil drilling industry. Now the crucial step of issuing permits must step up and catch up with the back log produced by confusion and unrealistic expectations.

What is languishing, according to the oil industry, is permits for deepwater wells that will lead to new discoveries. Two permits for new wells submitted during the moratorium are still pending. The agency has only received one application since the moratorium was lifted.

Lee Hunt, executive director of the International Association of Drilling Contracts, says that the dearth of applications is due to new requirements for four times the worst-case spill estimates.

That number is crucial since they affect the resources companies are required to be able to mobilize within 24 to 36 hours.

Four times the worst case scenarios? From where was that number pulled? It appears as a deliberate strategy to crush the industry. No one disputes the need for responsible emergency disaster plans and ready resources, most of all those of us living along the Gulf Coast. But, this has the appearance of deliberate and ham handed ideology at play.

While the moratorium was lifted on Oct. 12, more than a month ahead of schedule, only two new permits for deepwater wells have been issued by the Bureau of Ocean Energy, Management, Regulation and Enforcement. Significantly, neither of those permits would have been prevented by the moratorium since they deal with activity that was not forbidden by the ban.

Many companies are making every sacrifice possible to hang on until the working atmosphere in the Gulf of Mexico is stabilized for the drilling industry. While it is easy to demagogue the oil drilling industry as "Big Oil" and make the ridiculous assumptions associated with that, the fact is that few companies fall into that category. Certainly the service companies, without whom the industry does not function, run on lean budgets to survive. There simply is no extra funding laying around for imagined emergencies.

The delay and the existence of a backlog of permit applications is further proof that this administration is determined to rule our country's energy policy through the lens of their own political ideology. Bowing to pressures from special interest groups, they are content to allow drilling offshore in the Gulf of Mexico to languish in limbo.

The most regulated and taxed industry in our country - the energy sector - continues to make adjustments and work with regulators. Excessive demands just for show are not conducive to meeting our energy needs.

Silence As Iraqi Christians Are Massacred

Where is our diplomatic community and why isn't anyone publicly speaking out against the attacks on the Iraqi Christian community in that country?

Christians lived in Iraq before the Muslims, by hundreds of years. It is said the Garden of Eden was located in Iraq.

Christians are a small but historic part of the religious fabric of Iraq. Although they make up only about 1 percent of the population, Christians have been in this part of the world for 2,000 years, as evidenced by the stunningly beautiful churches and ancient monasteries that dot the Iraqi landscape. The town of Mosul is mentioned in the Bible, where it is known as Nineveh. And, to this day, some Iraqi Christians continue to speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus.

Even in the days of tyrannical Saddam Hussein, Christians lived and worked with Muslim Iraqis in peace. Though only a small part of the population, they were even represented in the highest levels of Saddam's inner circle - Tariq Aziz was Christian.

My husband was in Iraq just before the war, at the end of 2002, and he was honored to be befriended by Christian Iraqis - Iraqi counterparts and students of his work, many with which he is still in touch. The highest ranking counterpart welcomed my husband into his home and one visit involved celebrating at a birthday party and dinner for the man's son. The women of the family and guests were gracious hosts.

So, with the news of well-coordinated and massive recent attacks on Christians in Iraq, why is our State Department and our President silent about it? Where is the demand for stronger security for Iraqis - Christian and Muslim alike? Where is the strong statement that terrorist massacres of Christians is not acceptable?

It is time for voices representing religious freedom to speak loudly in support for all Iraqis.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Will Obama Be A One Term President?

With almost breathtaking speed, President Obama has fallen into quicksand territory when it comes to his ability to turn around his deeply unpopular presidency. This is the man for whom so many Americans held such high hopes. They blindly fell for his shallow and glorified candidacy - mostly on the racial issue, truth be told - and while some Independent and more moderate voters thought they were voting for a man who would be a good listener and common sense kind of leader, the far left of the political aisle voted for a liberal ideologue.

Victor Davis Hansonprovides a good run up to how we got here with Barack Obama:
It all started in January 2009, when a giddy Barack Obama failed to appreciate how he got elected. He concluded that his victory was proof of a radical shift to the left on the part of the American electorate. In fact, it was a combination of the novelty of the first serious African-American presidential candidate, a so-so McCain effort, the traumatic financial meltdown of Sept. 15, 2008, unhappiness with the Bush administration’s Iraq war, fawning media, an orphaned presidential election with no incumbent running, and Obama’s centrist campaigning that explained the near impossible election of a northern liberal, when kindred sorts such as Dukakis, Kerry, McGovern, and Mondale had all failed. The country clearly wanted a corrective to the big spending and borrowing of the Bush administration — and soon discovered that, instead, it was going to get a far larger second serving of it.

He has proven to be an international gaffe machine with the recent trip more of the same from previous trips. He is determined to proven he is the smartest guy in the room and other world leaders neither believe that nor do they appreciate being talked down to. In Japan, the deep bow to that country's leader brought back all the memories of Obama's fondness of bowing to others, a practice not previously practiced by U.S. Presidents. And, once again he reveled in what he views as the decline of America, the very country he has the privilege to lead:

The president again casually confirmed his belief in the decline of America's "outsized" influence in world affairs, noting, "We are now seeing a situation where a whole host of other countries are doing well and coming into their own and naturally they're going to be more assertive." The president thinks this greater assertiveness is "a healthy thing" but did not elaborate for whom it was healthy - certainly not the United States. For some inexplicable reason, Mr. Obama welcomes the decline of America's role on the international stage. It is his most notable accomplishment.

True, as far as the domestic agenda goes, Obama rammed through the deeply unpopular Obamacare with the help of his Democratic majority in Congress. He boasts of his administration's successes, though we are hard pressed to name much at all. He also failed to rally when the catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico needed his undivided attention. He was slow off the mark and allowed his Cabinet secretary to push his own ideological agenda to the expense of thousands of jobs lost along the Gulf coast.

So here is the question: Will President Obama be a one term President?

A thoughtful opinion piece was published on this subject, written by Democrats Schoen and Caddell. They have boldly asked President Obama to not run for re-election so that the country can move forward in economic recovery.

If the president goes down the reelection road, we are guaranteed two years of political gridlock at a time when we can ill afford it. But by explicitly saying he will be a one-term president, Obama can deliver on his central campaign promise of 2008, draining the poison from our culture of polarization and ending the resentment and division that have eroded our national identity and common purpose.

If not running for re-election, Obama would be freed to work with the GOP and find common sense political solutions to our nation's troubles. He would not be on the campaign trail, as he has continued to do without respite from day one, calling the GOP every nasty slur he can - the enemy, inferring racism, notions of lazy politicians drinking slurpees rather than working, etc. It is beneath the office of President and he could remain in Washington doing the work he was sent to do there.

Do I think he will step back and consider not running for re-election? Not for second.

Obama himself once said to Diane Sawyer: "I'd rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president." He now has the chance to deliver on that idea.